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A SAD READ — 20 Comments

  1. I’m with you, Mas – haven’t had too many near-death experiences, but have always tried to learn as much as I can from them. From accidental and negligent discharges (both kinds) that could have had deadly results and which reinforced safety rules, to more potentially violent ones that also act as reminders of what could be if circumstances were only slightly different. For example, the most recent was my simply passing a semi tractor and trailer on a two-lane road. Looked ahead, no traffic at all to be seen. But just as I reached the front of the truck, a car pulled out of a driveway hidden by trees ans bushes on the left as I was passing that spot. I thought to myself, “I almost died right then, and would have if the other car had been a second or two quicker, or if I had been a second or two slower.” It reminded me of two things – one, how things can go from ‘normal’ to disaster in the blink of an eye; and two, to not only look in the oncoming lane(s) before passing but also look at potential hazards on the left!

    As far as Ms. O’Farrell’s attitude, she sounds like she’s a long-term candidate for a Darwin award. Not trying to be mean or disrespectful, but she sounds like she’s not as bright as she thinks she is. I know several like her, who think because they’ve avoided the consequences of bad choices in the past, it means they always will. Good luck to her, I hope she’s correct!

  2. I try to learn from most any experience so much so that any source of additional learning is sought; My personal experiences or those of others included. And sharing such is equally important.

    (Consider, for example, Flying Magazine’s Aftermath & ILAFFT (I Learned About Flying Fron That) or, as mentioned, Mas’ own Ayoob Files)

  3. despite the occasional intrusive roar of a Thesaurus Rex:

    Nice shot there, Mas!!! That one cracked me up, big time.

  4. Undue affinity for risk-taking can be associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I hate to play amateur psychologist, but Maggie sounds like some people I know who have unusual disregard for danger from rattlesnakes, bears, skydiving, freeway driving, chemical impairment, etc. ADHD can have survival advantages in predator-rich environments, though, such as one’s being a light sleeper . For those without ADHD, the ADHD-afflicted can be great allies to have in combat environments. ADHDs may be less likely to survive dangerous situations, but their allies are enabled. Erin Go Bragh!

  5. It just makes me remember how avoiding bad situations is always the best policy. Prevention, prevention, prevention.

  6. I just don’t get it.. my wife and I have been through some incidents with career criminals but she refuses to accept that bad things can and do happen. She confronted a drunk that came up to our home late at night. Rather then get me, she confronted the guy. I don’t know what happened but she increased security and start barging that all she needs is attitude to scare off anyone that means her harm. I was confronted by a carjacker later this year. He’s in jail but I was left without any weapon waiting for the sheriff at 2:30 am. It was the longest 20 minutes setting there waiting for the deputy to show up and tell me they had the guy… I’ve since bought a gun without telling my wife (to replace the ones I sold) because bad things can and do happen… But, still I just don’t get it… How much is enough to change a mind that thinks a gun will make you do something that is not already inside the person.

  7. The problem with being a risk-taker and not learning from previous experiences in your life is that, eventually, your luck runs out.

  8. Remember the Central Park jogger? If I remember correctly, she was jogging in Central Park (NYC) after midnight. She was gang-raped. They called it “wilding.” She almost died. After she recovered she said she might go jogging in Central Park after midnight again!!!!!

    I guess living in a modern technocratic society, where we are constantly protected by the military and police, and have access to modern medicine, makes some people feel invincible. Maybe feminist propaganda makes some women feel strong. When the thin veneer of “civilization” disappears, I don’t think these over-confident moderns will last long.

    Compare and contrast the lives of modern American women with the lives of modern women in Syria, with its long civil war. I’ll bet they think very differently.

    • After posting this I checked Wikipedia. Turns out the Central Park Jogger went jogging at 9pm that night, not after midnight. So she went jogging after dark, but not after midnight.

  9. Tom, that’s a great point. I try to avoid being around the wrong people. But, that may not work the way I want it too. I just acquired my texas drivers license, and it wouldn’t hurt to acquire another CHL. Trouble, does have a way of finding decent people going about daily routines.

  10. While many people are of the Sigmund Freud school of psychology and believe that the sex drive is the primary motivator of human behavior, I believe differently. In my opinion, knowledge of and fear of death (mortality) is the primary driver of behavior.

    This manifests itself in many ways. Some people are obsessed with fending off death and extending their life by any means possible. An obsessive need to acquire wealth, fame and power is one manifestation of this behavior.

    Other people seem to respond by going into denial about death and mortality. They may develop a thrill seeking nature and take reckless chances. Seemingly, pretending that death cannot touch them.

    Very few people seem to be able to face their eventual death with detached emotions or view it coldly and logically.

    I have not read the referenced book but, from what Mas has described, I would judge that Ms. O’Farrell is in denial about her own mortality and, besides the unavoidable brushes with death, the unnecessary chances she takes is a manifestation of her mental state of denial.

    In other words, she is not dealing well (emotionally) with her own mortal condition and acts as if she thinks she is immortal. Of course, none of us are actually immortal. Rather, it is as the Bible points out: “it is appointed unto men (and women) once to die, but after this the judgment”.

    • Good to remember that Freud is quoted as saying that “Love and work (Liebe und Arbeit) are the cornerstones of our humanness.” I believe Freud chose slow- suicide-by-cigar love, combining the gradual risk-taking behavior of ‘baccy use with prioritizing the nicotine jolt. He apparently turned something of a blind eye towards the mortal consequences of such “love.” You may be saying that that mortality, or the awareness of it, is another cornerstone of humanness. For me, belief in Christian, post-mortem (the dead shall rise) immortality is a special, transcendent cornerstone of humanness. Help through the day, too.

  11. A Sad Read indeed. But, enough years and enough lessons have passed that this is hardly a shakeup.

    Let us learn, but let the energy of pity leave them and turn instead to saving ourselves.

    They are lost to history… we have a ::slim:: chance. Persevere.

  12. Mas, I know the following question ist a little bit off topic, but you wrote the Ayoob Files so maybe I can ask you something: One of the most known incidents in the Ayoob files is the North Hollywood shootout. Did you know if the police used slugs for their shottguns there? Both gunmen wore selfmade body armor, but I think, slugs would have knock the robbers down. At short distances they have es much energy as AR 15 projectiles. If my english sounds strange – I am a competition shooter, living in germany. Best regards, Bert

    • Bert, your English is way better than my German.

      In the shootout in question, the officers only had buckshot in their shotguns, and 9mm pistols and .38 revolvers until .223s were brought to the scene, and SWAT arrived with MP5 submachine guns. As a result of this incident, shotgun slugs were authorized; patrol rifles were eventually authorized; and larger caliber pistols were authorized for the rank and file of that department.

      I know of two cases where shotgun slugs on pistol-rated vests failed to take down the wearer. Cop shot in chest rocks back, shoots suspect with service revolver: cop lived, suspect died. Bad guy shot in chest by state trooper rocks back, aims his rifle at the trooper, is shot in head/neck area by Border Patrolman with .308 and killed. X-ray of deceased in latter case showed bruised lung. So, brutal a hit as it is, I wouldn’t count on a 12 gauge slug that stops on Kevlar taking down the wearer.

    • Bert, wie geht’s? Have you ever tried a 12-gauge Dixie slug? At 730 grains of lead weight at maybe 1100 feet per second, it would could knock out an elephant, let alone an evil perpetrator. It is mainly designed for rifled slug barrels and used for protection from potentially dangerous animals like grizzlies. The hotter Brenneke 12-gauge slugs are also probably much harder hitters than the average slug that the California peace officers carry. I guess you can’t underestimate the lengths that some criminals will go to be armored. Likely heavy armor will make them slower targets, though.

      • Thanks Steve, mir geht’s gut, alles bestens. We havent icebears, grizzlies and blackbears in germany, and there are no white sharks, tiger sharks etc. in coastal waters. The most dangerous animals here are boars and wolfes. I think, my swiss carbine K31 is more than enough. But under german law, a competition shooter like me is not allowed to carry his arms in the woods, only registered hunters can do that.

  13. Lord, Mas, it’s a treat to read your writing: “This is much cooler than my own feelings after near-death experiences, which tended more toward “(Expletive deleted)! I’m still alive!” Lub-dup, lub-dup, lub-dup.”

    LOL – that’s fantastic. Thanks for the review!
    erich